South Africa

Last updated: 4/19/2017

The Republic of South Africa, located on the very southern tip of Africa, is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the west and the Indian Ocean on the east. While much of the interior of South Africa is semi-arid scrub-land, there are many lush, tropical areas along the 1500 miles of coastline. The abundance and diversity of plants and animals makes South Africa a favorite country for tourism. South Africa is home to 50 million people speaking 40 languages, of which 11 are “official". It can be a wonderful country to serve on a MAST.

Quick Jump



  • U.S. passport holders visiting the Republic of South Africa for ninety (90) days or less for tourism / business purposes do not need visas. 
  • You must have 2 blank visa pages in you passport.
  • Travel with at least one 2x2 passport photo.

Local Contact:

  • Your Wycliffe Associates Recruiter or MAST Team Lead


Medical Requirements:

  • Yellow fever certificate is required only if you are passing through yellow fever belt area before entering South Africa.
  • You are encouraged to visit CDC Information for South Africa for the most up to date health information on traveling to South Africa.
  • Anti-malaria medication is also strongly recommended.
  • Contact your health provider for other recommended vaccinations.
  • Recommend that you carry medication for traveler's diarrhea and some electrolyte powder to avoid dehydration.
  • If you have a weak stomach, it is good to bring Pepto Bismol tablets and take one before each meal.


  • For Men:
    • Casual western shirts and slacks. Shorts and tank tops not recommended. Good walking shoes and sun hat. You will see some people dressed in shorts, etc. in capitol but we do not recommend this since we must be examples.
  • For Women:
    • National women in the capitol are becoming more western in dress but this is not considered a good idea in the communities we encounter. Women should wear modest dresses/skirts and blouses. Most women wear head coverings to church (head wraps, hats, or scarves).
  • Socially acceptable or expected footwear:
    • Nice shoes for church. Sandals or flats, or walking shoes. Please keep your shoes clean. Africans wash their shoes and are often shocked at the condition of many Expat's shoes. There is a proverb, "as you dress so shall you be perceived."
  • Make sure to check the local weather before you travel! Anywhere in the world can be chilly! A light sweater will suffice and an umbrella for rainy season.


Things to bring:

  • Bottled water is readily available and most apartments/guest houses where you will be staying will have filtered water available.
  • Bug Spray or wipes with DEET available in most camping departments.
  • Snacks (protein bars, trail mix, candy bars, etc.) if you wish but cookies, chocolate, some chips, and especially peanuts are readily available.
  • Tylenol/Aleve, pepto bismal, Imodium, Vaseline, and other seldom used but useful when needed medications.
  • Food could be spicy: bring antacids if needed.
  • Small LED flashlight: a must!
  • A small power strip (250v) is handy and electrical adapter is required.
  • Have a copy of your itinerary of your return flight (with your name on it) and a copy of your travel insurance paperwork easily accessible (especially when traveling) and a copy of your passport.

Things to Know

  • Be prepared to do without running water, electricity, or internet on occasion.
  • There are few public restrooms so be prepared with tissues in your pocket.
  • ATMs are available. Notify your bank that you will be in South Africa so that they won't block your card.
  • Be very careful to cover your pin number when getting money.